Title: The Last Place
Author: Michael Adams
Genre: YA Dystopian Thriller
Opens: … That’s me sprawled dead in the street, beneath the brown sky, amid dry bodies and dusty cars…
Blurb: Danby is desperately fighting to save the last of humanity but with Jack’s sinister influence more powerful than ever, Danby’s one hope for freeing his minions – and her little brother – is unlikely to happen. The only option now for the few survivors not under Jack’s control is to escape. But to do this Danby has to confront a danger much closer to home as she finds that she may have risked her own sanity in her ferocious battle to live. Embracing a brutal warrior code might save Danby’s life, but the price is high. Danby must save who she can, but before there is any chance for safety there are soldiers, marauders and toxic bushfires all closing in, is there any hope at all?
My Thoughts: THE LAST PLACE is the final book in the edge of your seat series set after the end of the world as we know it. The main character, Danby, has finally turned feral – kill or be killed is how she is living – and there is a lot of killing. There is absolutely no hope – the cavalry is not going to arrive
“…I thought about all the people who’d had to do this through history. The millions taking flight from disasters, fleeing tyrannical despots, making exodus from pogroms, escaping warring soldiers and pouring out of bombed cities. What had kept them going was the promise of safe haven, whether in some sprawling refugee camp or under the protection of a friendly army. We didn’t have that…”
Set in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and further north in Central Coast Danby now lives in a world gone mad – on Christmas day ‘The Snap’ happened. What is the snap I hear you ask? Well, in the first book The Last Girl it is explained in detail but in summary in a split second all humans become part of a massed mind meld. Instantly each person could hear what everyone else was thinking, thousands of thoughts invaded each mind at the same time and couldn’t be stopped. Eventually everyone’s mind just snaps in reaction to the information overload and they become catatonic, they go into shut down mode. Well not quite everyone there are a few who are unaffected and these were ‘the specials’ and they are wide awake and moving around. Danby is caring for her autistic brother, Evan, and meets up with Nathan and they start trying to save the unconscious – is quite a simple procedure involving an injection. Then there’s Jack – enter stage left the evil villain! Jack raises the unconscious by melding his mind with them, he brings around Evan. But there is a catch, everyone who Jack brings around IS Jack it is like he is adding his mind into one multi-faceted entity. He can learn through them and he can hear and see through them and they have no idea they are not themselves. This is all expanded on in the second book The Last Shot. This is where it becomes not just survival to live in a world that has died – it is survival against the living. Danby has to make a choice as to who she is going to survive with – well she knows, but how to escape his clutches and save those under his influence is the problem. Three weeks after the world shuts down – there is a final confrontation between Jack and Danby and a trigger is pulled.
THE LAST PLACE starts 3 months after the events in The Last Shot – and Danby has certainly used those months to grow in character. She is now a kick ass military expert using hunting techniques and computer technology (who needs the Internet) to survive. But she is not perfect, in fact for most of THE LAST PLACE the reader is left wondering if Danby is just a little insane, after what she goes through you would not blame her. In order to survive, protect and maybe rescue those she loves she has to become as ruthless as those who are trying to destroy them. The story is told as a series of flashbacks over the last 3 months that bring them up to the ‘present’ and what increasingly builds up to be the final confrontation. And what a great finale it is – I can see it on the big screen now.
Be warned in this series there are a lot of deaths – nice people die – I shed more than one tear I can assure you. All Danby wants to do is escape ‘Jack’ and rescue her brother Evan.
I found that author, Michael Adams, portrayal of life after the snap to be very realistic. Not everyone could be brought around so there are millions of decaying dead bodies everywhere. The domestic animals are turning ferrel, those that haven’t died as they are trapped when their human carers die. And nature is starting to make a comeback. Urban centres are both a source of food and medicine, and a place of death and disease. They are also great for sieges and battles. The wilderness is good to hide in and plot and plan. The story switches between the urban and country locations – with the last stand taking place in a seaside town on the Central Coast just north of Sydney. There is not a lot I can say about the final book as to do so would be a real spoiler. What I can say is that it is edge of the seat stuff, and the ending will astound you, and while part of it is foreshadowed in a scene earlier in THE LAST PLACE it was a real surprise and yet made so much sense when you are reading a book where the mind is almost a central character.
I am sorry the journey has come to an end. I invested a lot of reading time into the trilogy and was not disappointed for one second – ok maybe just for one as I realised what was happening in the final show down, but when I thought about it, then it all made sense. If you like apocalyptic thrillers and haven’t started the trilogy then I suggest you do so now – you will not be disappointed.
For more about the author – Click Here
A – Excellent Stuff – a real page turner and hard to put down. I carved out extra reading time just so I could finish it. This book got carted into the bathroom with me, read over meals, read at work, and/or kept me up late at night. If this author has more work, I will certainly read it.
With thanks to Allen & Unwin and the author for this copy to read and review. Allen & Unwin recommended retail price is $19.99.